Thursday, June 12, 2014

E3 2014 - Super Smash Bros., Zelda Wii U, Hyrule Warriors, and more!

January 14th, 2016: This post was written back in 2014 in response to E3 at the time. However, I never ended up publishing it simply because I never finished the Hyrule Warriors section of the post. With the new Breath of the Wild trailer from the Nintendo Switch presentation, I wanted to revist what I thought about the original trailer, which led me back to this post. I figured that despite the title not matching the content of the post, I might as well publish this, since it has some fun reactions to Palutena and BotW's first reveals. Everything below is exactly as it was written back then; I didn't bother editing anything.

Here I am, as promised! I expect that you're here because you either clicked on this page by accident, thought you stumbled upon something useful, or you are interested in hearing my opinion! If you are in one of the first two groups, you are sorely mistaken, and you might as well leave now. (But... but you can stay if you want! That'd be awesome!)

So, as you know from my earlier post, I was very, very hyped up for E3. I was expecting great things from Nintendo. Great things! The best since E3 2011, I proudly proclaimed! But did they deliver?

Short answer: not really. I was kind of disappointed.

BUT... I highly suggest you still read the long answer. Because my gosh, this WAS one of the better E3 years, in my opinion. Not as good as 2011. But I think second place suits it well out of the E3 years I've bothered to watch (which are 2010 to present). So it's not bad at all, but I was definitely over-hyped.

Let's start with Smash Bros.! I was strongly hoping for some cool new villain reveals... like, maybe a Zelda villain reveal? Ganondorf hasn't been announced, so all we have are Sheik, Zelda, Toon Link, and Link. And that's kind of like only two characters if you really think about it. (Even if none of them really play the same...) I really would have loved to see something new for everyone's favorite franchise.

Alas, it was not to be... BUT WE GOT PALUTENA WOOOOO! ...Yes. I was so happy when Palutena showed up. To give you an idea, here's how Skype was just after Reggie said they were wrapping up their digital event (with only a few minor typo corrections -- such as changing "It" to "Pit" -- and removals of irrelevant comments):
[9:41:34 AM] Herine f Time: We still didn't get all the info I wanted. ;(
[9:41:45 AM] Herine f Time: I wanted new Smash Bros. characters
[9:41:56 AM] Herine f Time: Real characters that aren't a freaking Mii
[9:42:16 AM] odd300: One more little teaser........
[9:42:20 AM] Herine f Time: Metroid or StarFox
[9:42:24 AM] odd300: Nopeee
*Palutena appears on screen*
[9:42:27 AM] Herine f Time: PALUTENA
[9:42:29 AM] Herine f Time: PALUTENA
[9:42:34 AM] Herine f Time: YES PLEASE!
[9:42:37 AM] Herine f Time: YES YES YES!
[9:42:41 AM] Herine f Time: YEAH!
[9:42:45 AM] Herine f Time: PALUTENA!
[9:42:55 AM] Herine f Time: PLEASE PALUTENA I LOVE YOU
[9:43:12 AM] odd300: Pit, you suck.
[9:43:22 AM] Herine f Time: ALL MY FAVORITE CHARACTERS
[9:43:43 AM] Herine f Time: YESSSSSS
[9:43:47 AM] Herine f Time: SH
[9:43:53 AM] Herine f Time: Sh?
[9:44:10 AM] Herine f Time: YOUR FACE SUCKS
[9:44:26 AM] Herine f Time: Auto-reticle. XD
[9:44:40 AM] Herine f Time: Dude Mega Laser is my thing bro
[9:45:04 AM] Herine f Time: Dark Pit?
[9:45:08 AM] odd300: Well then.
[9:45:10 AM] Herine f Time: Lol okay
[9:46:28 AM] Herine f Time: I'm so happy
[9:46:34 AM] Herine f Time: I'm sooooo happy I love Palutenaaaaaa

Yeah. Heroine of Time (with the odd symbols) is obviously me.

I was hoping for Palutena to appear in Super Smash Bros. after all of this time! I'm not surprised in the slightest -- I thought we had pretty good chances, especially considering the very realistic supposed leak of her as a character back in January, and the other small indications, like the Pseudo-Palutena trophy, or the removal of Palutena from Pit's final smash. Also, Pac Man and Miis are characters, but I don't care. Aside from Zelda characters, I just wanted Palutena, and I got Palutena. I'm content as far as Smash Bros. goes.

I still would have liked more, though... the figurines were cool, but I wanted some info about what they're planning on doing specially for the Wii U version. The 3DS has... Smash Run? Is that what it's called? And that's an exclusive to that console. But the Wii U, so far, has not really been announced to have anything.

I also watched the whole Smash Invitational. I was rooting for Wii Fit Trainer but she didn't win. D: Ah, well, Zero Suit Samus won, and I was kind of cheering for her, too, but I liked the guy playing Kirby more than the guy playing Samus...

Anyway. How about we move on to Zelda Wii U?

Now, I wanted a trailer. A full trailer. Something gorgeous. I was expecting something mind-blowing, something beautiful... something I could rewatch a thousand times over and enjoy it every time, spot something new every time. Like the Skyward Sword trailers, or even the Hyrule Warriors trailers.

The Zelda Wii U presentation started off beautifully. They showed us a still image of the background -- and my breath almost left me. It was... so, so, SO incredible.

My first thought was immediately Skyrim. Skyrim has the large, swooping open fantasy world. The hut behind Link (or whoever that is -- we'll get to that) definitely gave me a Skyrim feel, as well as the mountains behind him. For anyone who plays Skyrim, they know JUST how often mountains get in your way. This is what I wanted. This is exactly what EVERYONE wanted! An open-world Zelda game! As long as they don't sacrifice story for this... this could be the best Zelda yet!

And then the actual footage they had planned began playing... and I think everyone had a rather similar reaction to me. But I'll let my Skype conversation give you an idea of everything once again:
[9:22:06 AM] Herine f Time: :D
[9:22:15 AM] Herine f Time: What
[9:22:19 AM] Herine f Time: Why is there a robot
[9:22:34 AM] Herine f Time: OKAY WHO IS THAT
[9:22:41 AM] Herine f Time: IS HE WEARING BLUE
[9:22:44 AM] Herine f Time: WHY
[9:22:45 AM] Herine f Time: WHAT
[9:22:51 AM] Herine f Time: HE LOOKS LIKE A GIRL
[9:23:10 AM] Herine f Time: He looks like older TWW Link in his freaking pajamas
[9:23:28 AM] Herine f Time: Dangit that was nothing Nintendo. XD

Yes, these comments could pretty much sum up the entirety of the reactions of the Zelda fandom.

I'll address each comment separately. The robot was really, really strange. We haven't seen very many things like it in The Legend of Zelda. I don't necessarily mind adding in some giant robots or anything, but it was still kind of surprising. And then... the character on the horse showed up. Of course, up until now, we were expecting our typical green-garbed hero... but instead he pulls back the cloak to reveal a head completely devoid of a hat, with hair much longer than Link's normally is (except in the Ocarina of Time manga -- that's actually EXACTLY what it looked like from behind in the Ocarina of Time manga), and wearing completely unfamiliar clothes. And Link... he looked different, too! He was wielding some kind of peculiar bow as well. It looked like the Hero's Bow, but then it did some... weird mechanical thing that caused an explosion. And his clothes were BLUE. As I pointed out, he strongly resembled The Wind Waker Link and his clothes, and, upon reviewing the footage, I think I'm reminded of Skyward Sword Link's outfit as well. Never mind that, all in all he looked NOTHING like our favorite hero. It was very odd.

Let me also point out that that horse does NOT look like Epona up close. I've rewatched this footage several times and I'm relatively sure that's not Epona.

I'm all open to change, of course. I do consider myself somewhat traditional, but hey, if Nintendo wants to try something new, I'll probably buy it anyway if it has Zelda on the cover. But I'm looking for a Zelda experience when I buy a Zelda game. And allowing you to play as customized characters... doesn't sound very Zelda.

Then again, neither does an open-world anymore, but oh my goodness am I excited to see where that goes!

Also they didn't give me a good picture of Link to put as my header on my blog or use for a signature/avatar on Zelda Dungeon, dangit. I don't even know if that's Link. I can't use his/her picture anywhere.

And this "trailer"'s biggest flaw is that it's so short. Shame on you, Nintendo. You supposedly had this ready last year. You could have shown us more! It was majorly disappointing.

Next... Hyrule Warriors!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

I'm really darn tired, but I'm here for E3!

Okay, so, remember how last time, I only got five hours of sleep the night before E3? No? Good, because if you say you do, you're probably a liar. Well, today I beat my record and only gave myself four.

And it was because of Skyrim again. I just wasn't tired until 4 AM. Even then I wasn't really tired...

Anyway, it's 8:31 PT right now, and E3 starts at nine. I've got a half hour to try and wake myself up. I'm going to try and watch it on the official website, but it seems like the official website NEVER works properly, so we'll see how it goes. I'm going to have some backups just in case!

I think I should be more excited, but right now I'm more concerned with kicking myself for thinking staying up late was a good idea. Dangit. I don't even have an excuse for feeling tired this time. It's 8 AM. At least it's not 6 like last year.

Well, it's time to see the latest Hyrule Warriors trailer -- hopefully with some new story images --, some new Smash Bros. info -- likely with some new characters -- and of course Zelda Wii U.

I'm hoping that we'll get something shocking and innovative. Or at least fanservice. That'd be cool. Give us something that looks like the 2012 tech demo and most people will be happy. Except those losers who will claim that's unoriginal or something...

Like, what if we see Majora Mask 3D? I don't even think anyone will care at this point, haha.

I'll be back here later to cover it all, folks, including any surprise news that Nintendo might have in store for us that I find interesting. I have a strong feeling this will be a great E3. The last two haven't been as exciting for me, but E3 2011 was the BEST. With a bit of luck, that same childlike excitement that overtook me for Skyward Sword's pre-release days will come back again for Zelda Wii U, and maybe I'll post a bit more!

Hope to see you guy(s) soon armed with knowledge of a beautiful future! In the meantime, enjoy this lovely countdown clock that I've had up for the past two weeks on a separate tab on my iPad.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

All Aboard the Hyrule Warriors Hype Train!

I am so excited for Hyrule Warriors now.

If you don't follow Nintendo news, it's important to tell you that a HUGE flood of Hyrule Warriors info came last month, including screenshots, artwork, and story descriptions. And man... do they know how to hype an audience!

My last post for Hyrule Warriors, in all honesty, was an afterthought. I just needed my monthly post, and I was going to say Happy New Year, and I decided to mention Hyrule Warriors rather briefly just because it happened to be there. The first trailer was pretty cool, but it didn't show us very much. In fact, Hyrule Warriors kind of faded from memory after its initial announcement. Only a few weeks ago, I was marveling that no one seemed to be talking about it. No one seemed excited for it, and no new news had been released in quite a while. As a matter of fact, the lack of interest in the game was beginning to make me concerned that it could become a Japan-only release, especially when we heard that its Japanese release would be August 15th, with no word on an American or European date.

And then May came along.

My mind has been thoroughly blown, dear readers, and it seems that Hyrule Warriors is going to be far more of an experience than I was expecting. Back in December, it appeared to be your typical hack-and-slash game that just had a few Zelda characters, locations, and items involved. But now... rather than being a Dynasty Warriors game with Zelda elements, it seems like a Zelda game with Dynasty Warriors gameplay.

Let's start with the story. I really wasn't expecting much of one, but it seems they've actually put a bit of effort into it. We know very little at this point, but we WERE introduced to a few of our main characters, including the new villains. Cia seems to be the biggest reveal, as her design is... well, not Zelda-like at all! And I'm immensely excited for her.

According to her character description, she once guarded the three pieces of the Triforce. However, eventually dark forces invaded her heart and she became evil. Everywhere's been saying that it was because of her jealousy over Zelda. But I haven't found an official source that says that, so...

Regardless, it is true that her background seems to imply that there will be jealousy. According to translations of her character description on the official website, she's in love with Link. And I love this. So much. I've heard a few people complaining about her design and that it reveals a bit too much, but I think it's actually perfect for her character. As a girl myself, I see nothing wrong with her design, ESPECIALLY if her personality is meant to be seductive. Goodness, I can't WAIT. She just sounds amazing. I'm so eager to see what they do with her relationship with Link. We've never had anything even remotely like her in the Zelda series, so I'm interested in seeing what they do with her.

We also have Valga and Wizro, two other villains that are apparently her minions or something. Valga looks like Volvagia, which could either be really stupid or insanely awesome, depending on how they handle that connection. I'm kind of wary if they're planning on going the route of having Valga actually be Volvagia... that sounds like it could cause all kinds of continuity issues or even just end up sounding fake and forced. But... but... if they do it right, and put effort into it... I can't imagine how amzing that would be. It would be really neat to explore the background of one of the most memorable bosses of Ocarina of Time a bit more. (And not anything like that stupid backstory that the manga gave him. I know I like the official manga, but that whole chapter was pretty darn forced. You'll know what I'm talking about if you've read it.) Wizro, on the other hand, was apparently a ring given form by Cia. I'm... not fully sure what to think of that at this point. I think I'm going to hold off on really commenting on him.

Of course, we also got more information about our heroes. Yeah. Heroes. That's plural. Dynasty Warriors is famous for having multiple campaigns and many playable characters, and you could expect no less from this beautiful Zelda spin-off. Currently, we have two playable characters unveiled. There's Link, to the surprise of no one in the universe, but then there's also... Impa!

Oh my gosh. We get to play as Impa now. I must say, that was a genius move on Tecmo Koei's part. I cannot think of another Zelda character except Zelda herself that is more worthy of being playable than Impa. She's been in plenty of games and has always given off this warrior vibe (except in those games where she's an old woman -- but we can ignore those and focus on the ninja versions). Now we REALLY get to see her in action!

I have to say, though, the one thing I thought upon hearing all this Zelda news is that this sounds completely and utterly like a fanfiction. And I've read a lot of fanfictions; I think I know what I'm talking about. A lot of fanfics will alter the backgrounds of the characters to fit their settings in unorthodox ways, and Hyrule Warriors has done just that, as they've now given very unique backgrounds to Link and Impa. Instead of being some nobody kid from a small village, Link is a knight-in-training. On top of that, he already has the Triforce of Courage, and it sounds like it's an important part of his character -- meaning people are probably aware of it and its importance. This is very interesting; it almost feels like we're starting in the middle of a Zelda game. And I couldn't even begin to tell you how many fanfics use that exact same set-up, haha. Impa, too, is now the captain of the guard. It's a surprisingly fitting position for her. Her importance to the whole of Hyrule has never really been stressed in a Zelda game before, so this is new, but due to her commanding demeanor and closeness to the princess, this makes PERFECT sense. Fanfictions will do things like this all the time, too -- taking an established character and giving them a new role based on their personalities and relationships in the official games.

Oh, and did I mention there's a love triangle between Link, Zelda, and the villain? Please, if that doesn't scream fanfiction at you, you've likely never heard the term.

We haven't gotten nearly as many updates on how the gameplay will go, unfortunately, since we haven't had any new gameplay footage, just screenshots. But some of the images have showcased absolutely gorgeous new moves that could add some complexity to the game. Interestingly enough, I actually do kind of like games with destruction every once and a while. I find Link's Crossbow Training surprisingly entertaining. So if they establish that kind of gameplay with a decent story, this could become of the best Zelda games -- and it's not even a real Zelda game.

Oh, and... multiplayer! Now isn't THAT exciting? We've had some limited multiplayer experiences for Zelda in the past, such as Four Swords, Four Swords Adventures, and the DS games, but maybe we'll finally get something concrete! ...I mean, I kind of doubt it, since they said one player would be using the TV and one would be using the Game Pad, or something to that extent... but still. There's potential there.

Nintendo's E3 Direct is coming up on June 10th at 9 AM PT, and we've already gotten a confirmation from Hyrule Warriors' official Twitter that there will be a new trailer shown there. I'm certainly hoping we'll get some news on Zelda's role in the game. For now she just sounds like a boring damsel in distress, but maybe she can become playable if we're lucky? Or maybe we'll be surprised by some more unexpected playable characters! I'm so hyped up for E3 now. We'll not only get Hyrule Warriors and Smash Bros., but also the new Zelda for Wii U. This will quite likely be the best year since 2011, Zelda's 25th anniversary.

I'll see you all on June 10th! I'll be posting at least once or twice then as tradition demands, so stay tuned!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Looking forward to E3 2014!

I ruined my record today. I had two different posts that I wanted to write today, but I got distracted by Mario Kart and didn't look at the clock until 12:10 AM.

It's June. There will be no May 2014 post ever. Because I blew it. So now I can't say that I've had one post per month since 2009. I am surprisingly not as depressed about that as I probably should be...

Well, um... It's actually 1:40 AM right now. I was trying to finish a post, but I really have very little motivation right now. I probably should have started this earlier in the week when I was still fangirling over Hyrule Warriors, but I didn't soooo...

I'll give you guys a post tomorrow, alright? Well, not tomorrow, but in the morning, when I wake up. I'm too tired to trust myself to write a quality post right now. (I might end up deleting this post if I do.) And hey, we'll still have at least two E3 posts later in the month! Oh, yes. That's something to be excited about, right? Nintendo's press conference will be June 10th, and, shockingly, it's June 1st now! The summer seems to be passing so quickly. We've got PLENTY to look forward to at E3 this year -- but I'm going to talk more about that both in my later post of day, and in my "X amount of hours until E3" post.

I'll see you guys (guy? It's really only you, miniluigi. XD) later!